AIDS Drug May Be the Key to Preventing a Form of Macular Degeneration

AIDS Drug May Be the Key to Preventing a Form of Macular Degeneration

Research published last week in Nature’s Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy found that deposits of amyloid beta protein in the retina of patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) trigger a part of the immune system, leading to death of cells that make up one of the inner layers of the eye. When these cells die, so does the overlying retina and vision is lost. The investigators also found that a class of existing AIDS drugs, nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and safer derivatives of these drugs (Kamuvudines) halt inflammasome activation and prevent cell death.

This research further supports prior studies published in Science, Nature Communications, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), that have demonstrated NRTIs, and now Kamuvudines, have the potential to treat other inflammasome-mediated neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis, Business Wire reports.

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